[Prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms in men and its influence on their quality of life: Boxmeer Study].Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2000 Dec 30; 144(53):2558-63.NT
To assess the prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men and its influence on quality of life.
Recruitment of subjects was conducted in 1998 in the municipality of Boxmeer. Men in the age range between 40-79 years were sampled from the Municipality Basic Administration System. Data on LUTS, quality of life, and health care seeking behaviour were collected with a postal questionnaire. Severity of LUTS was evaluated with the Dutch translation of the seven items of the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), to which 6 questions were added regarding micturition frequency, dribbling, difficulty to start micturition, painful micturition, decreased force of stream since the age of twenty, and how long one could wait before micturition from the moment urge was noticed. The female partners of the respondents were asked to answer the questions as well.
1233 men completed the questionnaire, a response of 70%. One-fifth of all participants reported moderate to severe symptoms. Dribbling, reduced force of stream and urgency appeared to be the three most prevalent symptoms. The prevalence of LUTS increased with age: 10% of men aged 40-49 reported moderate to severe symptoms (IPSS > 7) compared with 44% of men over 70. Twenty-nine per cent of the men with severe LUTS reported poor disease specific quality of life, while another 28% of these men reported excellent disease specific quality of life. All men with mild symptoms reported excellent quality of life. Nine percent of all men consulted a doctor because of LUTS, with a mean delay of 10 months. The LUTS frequencies among the female partners equalled those among the responding men.
LUTS were common among men over forty and among their female partners. The prevalence increases with age. Ageing of the population may lead to increased numbers of men experiencing LUTS and to concomittant medicalization costs. It is therefore of great importance to realise that the impact of symptoms on the reported quality of life was not pronounced.